An interview worth watching

For a number of reasons I normally don’t publicize interviews I do. But this one was interesting because I came out from behind the authorial curtain a bit and tried to tie a few things together. And Mel Bellissimo was a fun guy, and no one has ever accused me of being fun, so he felt like a good counterweight to my minor key self.

6 thoughts on “An interview worth watching”

  1. CatherineStenzel

    Call me CatherineS or “Jack Pine Savage,” ** as I am referred to locally. This interview was enriching, startling and genuine, but why wouldn’t it be? Kent Nerburn honored us with his wisdom teachings, and with his stories. Perhaps the greatest blessing was hearing his authentic self; perhaps even a glimpse of his “secret” self. A gift. Anyone with two ears can’t help but sense the rooted truth he speaks. Sending gratitude to Kent Nerburn and to Kru Mel.

    ** To explain. We live in Beltrami Island Forest in Northwest Minnesota in a small log cabin with our dogs, Willa and Sancho. The Forest’s trees are jack pine (mostly), balsam, red pine, and birch. I am a writer and this is the perfect place to live for that vocation. Also a place to see at all times that “we are part of nature, not apart from nature.”

    Thanks to Coffee and Biscotti for making this interview possible.

  2. Thank you Kent for sharing this moment in time that is so full of wisdom and love! For those of you who see the length and don’t feel you have the time to spend, please listen and you will gain more beauty and connection to bring forth into all your days.

  3. Thanks for this. Your notion of the three selves resonates, as does your embrace of music and poetry; commonality for certain. “Voices in the Stones” is on my desert island list, especially because of the notion of Elders. As you describe your job near the end of the interview…I think you’re doing it pretty well. Very much looking forward to “Lone Dog Road.”

  4. Scott D Temple

    What a lovely interview. I’m in the middle of my own writing project. When this email come through, and I saw the length of the interview, I was tempted to just set it aside. But I watched the interview from start to finish. There’s so much to think about. But I really resonate to this: “Muddling through the world trying to be kind; that’s about the best we can hope for.” Indeed. And thanks.

  5. Steven G. Reynolds

    I shared this interview with three others whom I thought would be interested; two of whom I know have deeper knowledge of theology and philosophy than I do; and another who had recently learned of his substantial Native American ancestry and is appreciative of further knowledge about it. I have gifted him two of your books.

    I sat in the darkness of my basement office and by the light of the monitor scribbled notes as points came up, orally agreeing with you as you described your naturally somber aura, and appreciation of listening in relative silence that sets you apart from other people; I live such a life as well, in rural northwestern Minnesota.

    I’ve learned being true to oneself comes at a personal cost, after numerous attempts to fit in. Getting along with others, co-workers and the like, typically fails over the long term; and I can no more escape being myself than be that someone whom everyone embraces. Being true to yourself makes you a standout for all the wrong reasons, apparently; right in yours/wrong in theirs. People who once thought they knew you, begin to avoid you, disavowing any history you may have shared. Suddenly, they see something wrong with you that they’ve never seen before.

    An example being when a new employee, several years younger than myself, and a younger co-worker whom I had known for a decade, attempted to share a blatant racist joke with us, I responded tersely. This immediately angered my co-worker, who defended the now greatly-embarrassed individual, and consequently dissolved our working relationship because of it. Oh well.

    I had made the decision, not in haste, but in renewed compliance to my own life-long beliefs; something I recognized I had let slide over the years. The new employee apologized to me, and said he had been trying just to ‘fit in’, to be funny. I said, “You’re lucky I’m not that someone who may have had bi-racial children, or a wife, or parent, of whose race you were grossly disrespecting. Think before you speak.”

    Public self, private self, secret self … your self.

  6. Mary Lou Panatopoulos

    Dear Kent Nerburn,

    I have just finished reading the Trilogy, Neither Wolf Nor Dog, Wolf At Twilight and The Girl Who Sang to The Buffalo. They were loaned to me by a friend on May13; I had read all three and listened to your interview by May 23. I am totally captivated by your writing, your education, your interview and your kind spirit. I would love to have a conversation with you. I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way.

    I grew up in central Arizona in a remote town named Payson in the 40’s and 50’s, then lived on a ranch 10 miles west of Payson for 3 1/2 years. The Doll Baby Ranch. As a child, I used to sit and pick acorns in our yard with the Apache women, who came to gather the nuts in their tin cans. The little children would hide behind their mothers and were so shy. I loved the Indians very much. They made me a dress like they wore and also a miniature ubajol (spelling), a baby carrier. In later years I was able to purchase a regular-sized carrier from Ola and a small doll that she made, as a remembrance of her. The Indians came to may wedding on Jan 7, 1961 and stood outside. The church was full, but I told my mother later how badly I felt that they all stood outside looking in the windows.

    What the ‘Europeans’ have done to the Indians is unforgivable. What a better world we would have, had we listened to them and took on their way of living. I feel a great shame for the past history.

    Reading about the elders makes me think of the monastics, especially the desert fathers, who live alone in nature. I became an Eastern Orthodox Christian in 1985 and read the lives of the saints and monastics.

    Tomorrow we are giving one of our daughters the Trilogy that I just finished reading for her 60th birthday. My husband just began reading Neither Wolf Nor Dog.

    I will continue reading your books – its hard to decide which to read next – and follow your thoughts as you post them. I will also be reading your previous blogs. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and values. You have touched my spirit.

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Kent Nerburn